Friday, 26 February 2010

Project Natal

I've been surprised to meet up with people recently who haven't heard about Project Natal. Err...guys...this is like the coolest thing ever!! [Even better is that some of the key technology comes from our lab!]

I just found out that we have a nice webpage full of cool videos here. Once this comes out, it's time to buy an XBox!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

F# milestone

I've blogged earlier about important F# milestones. Here's another one. I went to make a mug of peppermint tea this afternoon, and it seems that F# has reached the important milestone of Mug Manufacture. Whoo! Congrats Don and co!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series

Like many people I was anxiously waiting for news from Barcelona concerning the next generation of MS Phone.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed. You can watch a nice video at Channel 9 here.

I blogged before about how nice the Zune HD UI is, so I'm really pleased to see that this look-and-feel has been deeply embedded.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Modern Times

I took the girls yesterday to see the latest exhibition at Kettle's Yard: Modern Times responding to chaos. We all really enjoyed it - the girls sat on the floor with their sketchbooks and copied the pictures they liked. It's a very interesting collection of drawings and film, combining some well-known artists (de Kooning, Mondrian, etc.) with some lesser-known artists (including some very recent work. My favourite was a lovely piece by Katharina Hinsberg.)

Apparently the subtitle refers to the times that the pieces were made. I'm not sure this really works, as many of the pieces don't seem to refer to that chaos at all. However, as an exhibition it's really very good. (I'm already planning to sneak out one lunchtime and see it without the kids!)

Thursday, 11 February 2010


I take my hat off to this chap for his interior design of his 19.5m2 apartment!

F# news

Hot on the heels of the RC release of Visual Studio 2010 is the latest release of F# (here). The version number has now been bumped up to 2.0, so this represents a big milestone in the productization of F#. Well done Don and Co!

[If you plan to install it, please read carefully Don's advice about deprecated features at the bottom of the post.]

Monday, 8 February 2010

Mobile madness

There's been some discussion in the blogosphere about the screens that will be appearing on mobile phones in the near future. Much of this has been thought to be impossible, but take a look at this phone, just announced. OMG: a 1280x1024 4-inch screen! That's crazy!

Friday, 5 February 2010

I'm off

OMG! Muji have made a village? I need to move.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Lost in translation

Some people will know that I'm quite keen on source-to-source language translators. I read today that the facebook guys have just built a translator from php to C++, called Hiphop. By doing so, they get a 50% reduction in CPU usage.


Last weekend, Mateja and I went with our artist friend, Jo, to see "Red", a play about Mark Rothko by John Logan. It was fantastic! It's intense theatre: just two actors (Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne) and a very spartan set (the inside of Rothko's studio). However, you are completely spellbound for 100 minutes.

It's essentially like a philosophy lecture: it tackles very interesting questions about art and artistic intent. Why make art? Who's art for? What is art for? How can art be subject to fashion? At least for me, the heart of the matter is exploring the paradox in Rothko's work: that from a distance it looks simple, but when you study it closely, it is intensely complex.

The performances are astonishing - the scene where both characters "prime the canvas" is particularly memorable, with both ending up drenched in blood-like paint.

Another fantastic play at the Donmar!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Interesting bug

One of my research areas is verification of software. We'd like to check that software does what it is intended to do. This is tricky. Part of the problem is specifying what your intent was in the first place. Picking the right language to do this is important. A recent example in Birmingham shows a different language problem surrounding software bugs.